Graphene water treatment company raises £4 million

Arvia, a UK-based water and wastewater treatment company, has secured £4 million in its latest round of investment funding. The company developed its own graphene-based proprietary material called Nyex which removes organics, contaminants and micro-pollutants from wastewater and is regenerated in-situ in the novel organics destruction cell (ODC) process. The technology was spun-out of Manchester University’s School of Chemical Engineering.

Arvia’s modular treatment units can remove and oxidise low, trace toxic and problematic pollutants. The company says it has numerous test units to deploy into the market and are looking for early adopters to collaborate with Arvia in applying this technology.

Graphene oxide to improve lithium-sulfur batteries

Researchers at China's Tsinghua University used ion-selective membranes of ultrathin graphene oxide (GO) to develop a novel, ion-selective but highly permeable separator for significantly improving both the energy density and power density of lithium-sulfur batteries. This resulted in a highly-stable and anti-self-discharge lithium-sulfur cell.

Polysulfides are materials generated at the cathode side, diffuse through the membrane, react with lithium anode, and shuttle back. During the process, polysulfides dissolve and irreversibly react with metal lithium and organic components, inducing the destruction of the cathode structure, depletion of the lithium anode, and loss of active sulfur materials. Commonly used separators in battery systems are porous polymer membranes, which separate the two electrodes while having little impact on the transportation of ions through the membrane. The researchers' design was of a GO membrane, sandwiched between cathode and anode electrodes, which efficiently prohibited the shuttle of polysulfides through the membrane.

Korean scientists develop a process for making graphene composites with even distribution without solvent

Researchers at The Institute of Advanced Composite Materials at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and The Seoul National University announced that they have successfully developed a manufacturing process for high molecular composite material with even distribution of graphene without using solvent.

Researchers developed this composite material after applying heat to a mixture of cyclic butylene terephthalate (CBT) with graphene particles. With statistical calculations using a cross sectional image of graphene, the researchers evaluated the distribution of graphene with average inter-particle distance and standard deviation.

Graphene NanoChem's PlatDrill receives positive biodegradability ranking

Graphene Nanochem logoGraphene NanoChem announced that after 9 months of independent testing of the PlatDrill Series by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research - National Institute of Oceanography, India, it has concluded that at 84.81%, the biodegradation level of the PlatDrill Series is 25% higher than the standard specified by the OECD guidelines. Based on this biodegradation rate the PlatDrill Series has been classified as "readily" biodegradable with a non-toxic ranking.

Worries of water and environmental contamination risks due to increased use of drilling fluids, gas and discharge of drilling waste mud and drill cuttings into the marine environment have been growing, resulting in harsher environmental restrictions in the chemicals and substances used for drilling. Biodegradation is a crucial property of drilling fluids to ensure that the fluids do not remain in the environment for long. "Readily" biodegradable refers to a substance that degrades efficiently and completely.

Turkish company called Nanografi claims method of cutting graphene production costs

Nanografi logoThe Turkish Nanografi reports a technical advance in the production of graphene that can make it much cheaper to produce.

The Project Manager of Nanografi explains that Nanografi has improved the production process by managing to produce graphene from a special plant that grows in India, which is more efficient than conventional oil-based methods. The company claims to have already started to export this product. The company is currently negotiating with officials for factory site in an R&D center based in Hamburg to meet the demand from abroad.

Angstron Materials develops thermal foils for smartphones and electronic devices

Angstron Materials logoOhio-based Angstron Materials has developed a group of cost-effective thermal foil products that can be customized for handheld devices and other products. The company says that its foil sheets have been qualified for use by a major mobile electronics company. Such thermal foils can be used for the technology beneath devices' screens that conducts heat away from internal electronic components and batteries to help maintain optimal performance.

Angstron’s thermal foils are available in a variety of grades. The company states that its foils are thinner than other products on the market and so give manufacturers greater design flexibility than competing methods. Angstron’s foil sheets also can be sourced with equivalent or greater thermal conductivity.

Graphene helps in creating square ice at room temperature

An international team of researchers from The University of Manchester, the University of Ulm in Germany and the University of Science and Technology of China created a transparent nanosized graphene capillary to investigate the atomic structure of water trapped inside.

The findings shed light on the unexpected behaviour of water at the molecular scale and are important for development of more efficient water treatment technologies including filtration, desalination and distillation. 

Graphene improves Alumina properties

The Spanish Graphenea, along with Russian and Spanish collaborators, have shown that adding graphene to alumina improves the ceramic's wear resistance and decreases friction. The result is expected to soon find uses in real products, as graphene and its derivatives seem to be biocompatible and in addition carry a low cost.

Alunima (an oxide of aluminium) has been long in use in biomedical applications such as load-bearing hip prostheses and dental implants, due to its high resistance to corrosion, low friction, high wear resistance and strength. This recent study describes the dry sliding behavior of a graphene/alumina composite material and compares it to regular alumina. The wear rate of the advanced composite was 50% lower than that of pure alumina, while the friction coefficient was reduced by 10%. This finding is made even more astonishing by the fact that the concentration of graphene in the final product is only 0.22% by weight. The type of graphene used for the study is Graphenea's standard graphene oxide

U.S company wants to 3D print customized graphene-enhanced cars

U.S-based Local Motors plans to 3D print vehicles within 12 hours, reinforcing extruded printed material with graphene. The company reports significant progress in its additive manufacturing technology since it unveiled its Strati vehicle (pictured) last September.

The Strati's body was printed in 44 hours, assembled and driven at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago last year. It used ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fibre, and contained 40 printed parts. Local Motors announced plans in January this year to open two “microfactories” in the US, and plans 50 such factories worldwide over the next five years.

Scientists use nanoporous graphene membrane for desalination

A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) demonstrated an energy-efficient desalination technology that makes use of a porous membrane made of free-standing, porous graphene.

The scientists report that the flux through these graphene membranes was at least an order of magnitude higher than the water that pass through state-of-the-art reverse osmosis polymeric membranes. Many of the current methods for purifying water require a significant amount of energy. Making the membrane more porous and thinner (properteis graphene is well suited to supply), helps increase the flux through the membrane and reduce the pressure requirements to reduce the amount of energy that the process requires.